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Technical Paper

Seal Testing in Aerated Lubricants

Typical seal immersion testing in lubricants does not aerate the lubricant as typically seen during normal operation of a transmission or axle. This paper will discuss a new test apparatus that introduces air into transmission fluids and gear oils during seal immersion testing. The seal materials selected for the testing are from current vehicle applications from several different material families. The test results compare the standard properties: change in tensile strength, elongation, hardness, and volume swell. Several tests were completed to investigate and refine the new testing method for seal compatibility testing with transmission fluids and gear oils. Initial results from the first data sets indicate that lubricant aeration helps improve test repeatability. In addition to aeration, the test results explore appropriate fluid immersion temperature for repeatability and appropriate test duration.